LEARNING FROM LOVE STORIES

We’re all trying to navigate our own love story, but the question on everyone’s lips right now seems to be: Are dating apps dangerous?

This week, Rene Lynch, LA Times writer and editor for the LA Affairs column, talk about the best love stories that teach us the best lessons. Also we break down all of the recent bad press surrounding dangerous dating apps.

More on that later, first we have headlines!

DATING DISH (2:30)

Why aren’t people having sex?

According to Financial Times, there is a huge decline in the amount of sex young people are having- especially men. Damona and Rene break down what this means for you.

Are free dating apps dangerous?

A recent investigation showed that predators are free to use free dating apps. Should all dating apps use a dating app registry

Is cheating the norm?

Recently Anna Ferris and Kat Von D talk about their history with cheating exes. Is this the new normal?

LOVE STORY (14:60)

Rene Lynch, lifestyle writer and editor at the LA Times, proves that we learn a lot from other people’s love stories. We talk about:

  • Compelling love stories
  • Big Takeaways from love stories
  • Our stories make up who we are, whether good for bad
  • Write your won happy ending

Make sure to find Rene Lynch at the LA Times or on Twitter (@ReneLynch).

TECHNICALLY DATING

Submit your questions Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear our answers live on the show! Here’s what our listeners asked about this week:

  • Email Question: Hi Damona. I recently started internet dating & I have met some nice guys but no one that really blows me away. I have been asked by one of the men to stop seeing the other men to see if this relationship can work. I am in my 40’s & the endless dating cycle is tiring, but I do not want to settle for the man that is giving me the most attention and who is the most demanding. Any advice?
  • Lately I’ve been really struggling in my relationship. He’s a great guy and we share a lot of the same values. The thing is I was never really attracted to him and never felt the spark, I thought I could get passed it bc we do share similar values for the future and in life but I’ve been nit picking and criticizing him for a few months now. I’ve tried changing but biting my tongue feels impossible. Do you think I should stay and work it out even tho I’m not exited bc he is so nice and loves me so much? Hanging out with him feels more like an obligation than something I enjoy and it’s so hard bc he’s everything I want on paper and loves me so much.
  • How can I understand if a guy has serious intentions without asking directly?

 

WANT TO GO EVEN DEEPER? HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG!

 

Damona  0:17  

Hello lovers, welcome to Dates & Mates. I’m your host certified Dating Coach damona Hoffman. And I want to thank you for making this show your source for modern dating and relationship advice. Whether you’ve been listening to Dates & Mates for all seven years, or if you’re new to the show, you know, you can learn a lot about dating from hearing other people’s stories. And today we’re going to take a deeper look at how love stories and our quest for a happy ending can change a romantic future. In studio with me today is Renee Lynch. She is a writer and editor for the LA Times Saturday section and features. She works across a variety of coverage areas including wellness, design and food and lucky for us She’s also the editor of the weekly la affairs column, please Give big smooches to Renee Lynch.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  1:02  

Thank you very much. I’m happy to be here.

 

Damona  1:04  

I’m so happy that you’re here. I’m a big fan of the column. And you know, I love a good love story. I love a bad love story. I love all love stories, because I think you can really learn something from hearing other people’s stories. So I’m excited to get into the details of what you’ve learned from your years of editing the LA affairs column. All right. But we also have headlines and we’ll be talking about why young people really aren’t having sex anymore. And what you can learn about cheaters from Kat Von D and Ana Faris, plus, our free dating apps dangerous, huh. We’ll cover those headlines and we’ll be answering your questions, including What if he’s ready to be exclusive? And you’re not? And should you break up with a guy who has everything on paper, but just doesn’t excite you? All that and more on today’s date and mates? Renee Are you ready to do this then? I am ready. I’m so excited. Let’s dish Financial Times published a new study on how dating apps are changing relationships. And there was a lot of interesting data in this study that some of which we’ve covered before, like the marrying age is going up and people are waiting longer to actually tie the knot or deciding not to tie the knot at all. But all but what I thought was really interesting was the research on sex. It I know I have. Yes, men apparently are reporting they’re having the least amount of sex. This is a major decrease in recent years. 28% of men have not had sex in the past year versus 18% of women. And the article posits that one of the reasons is that women are the younger men are really struggling in the dating market. They’re not having sex. much because women are looking for older men. So like there’s this gap in the market where they have a high sex drive, but they’re not getting any. What did you think of this article? Renee?

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  3:10  

Well, I find it very surprising because the media image is that we are kind of bombarded with daily seem to suggest that everyone is having sex all the time, which makes a lot of people wonder whether there’s something wrong with them, right. I mean, we’re, you can’t drive down the freeway without seeing some kind of sexually charged image. But when you dig deeper to it, I think it, it’s not all that surprising. And it does reflect that I think it is harder for men to kind of like, meet and connect with women. I think there are variety of reasons behind that. I also think there’s an interesting parallel to this Instagram world that we see that we think everything is so perfect out there, and everybody is having so much fun, and we’ve got this fear of missing out. And yet, there’s also this incredible loneliness that’s going on in the world. And I think some of those statistics really reflect that, that there’s an emotional disconnect in a variety of ways. It’s weird as the world gets a little smaller through technology, we can reach and connect with people more than ever before. There’s still a sense of, we’re not connecting.

 

Damona  4:16  

Yeah, I definitely see that with dating apps. And you all know, I’m a huge fan of dating apps. I think it has opened up a lot of possibilities for connection. But there’s a lot there are a lot of people that are on dating apps that aren’t actually connecting. They’re either doing it just just to waste time, or there are the people that are on the dating apps, specifically out for sex. And I feel like there’s been a pushback to people, especially women rejecting the idea that they’re on a Tinder or a hinge because they are looking to hook up. They’re like people and we actually you’ll see this in the questions from this week to people are really craving a deeper level of connection and We’re not getting it on the dating apps. But I think that has to do with the way that we’re using the apps and the mindset that you, you show up with when you’re there.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  5:08  

I think that’s totally accurate. I think the dating apps kind of give us this idea of like, dial up a date, and you can just, you know, get on and in five minutes have a date. And in some cases, true, that’s probably true. But if that’s all you’re looking for, your you may find it. But if you’re looking for anything more, it’s far more complicated than that. That’s just a simplistic view, you’re not going to dial up a husband or a wife or partner, it’s just not going to happen. And so you’re you’re you we kind of have that we live in a society where we kind of get whatever we want whenever we want it. And yet, of course, there’s this huge hurdle between dialing up you know, whoever on a dating app and actually meeting and connecting so I used to call it man shopping, right?

 

Damona  5:52  

But I did it with a clear intention. But I know a lot of people out there are getting more than they bargained for when they’re using dating apps there was a an article that hit people calm and a number of other outlets, criticizing match the parent company of many dating apps, including Tinder, and OkCupid. And plenty of fish for not doing thorough background checks on their free sites. Actually, they don’t do any background checks at all. Match itself does scrub their roles, and it kicks off anyone that does have a match to the sex offender registry. But they don’t do it for OK Cupid and plenty of fish. And there was a new investigation that revealed that sexual offenders are looking for potential victims on these free apps. Here’s my take, Renee, I think that the dating apps are not we’re making them too responsible for our choices. Like if you went to a bar and you met a sex offender, you wouldn’t go and sue the bar because you met them there and You might, you might, you probably wouldn’t win. But I, I feel like it’s unfair to put this kind of pressure and burden on dating apps, especially the free dating apps, like you didn’t pay anything to be there. And now you’re expecting all of these, all of these resources to be provided for you, but you don’t want to actually pay for them to be to be given to you. Now, I’m a little bit biased. I do work with match on content, and I’ve worked with them for many years. But I’m saying this more as a dating coach, and someone that has done this for over I’m almost embarrassed to say, for nearly 15 years, I’ve been coaching people on dating apps, and I’ve always said you have to do your own research.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  7:41  

What do you I think that you make a great point. And I think in a lot of ways, you’re you’re totally right. But there’s also a reality that situation. Most people have no idea you’re sophisticated you are working in this area, you understand what it means to try to track somebody down and get some background information on them. A lot of people Just don’t have that I think about, you know, I’m a journalist. So my first reaction is if I’m going to date you, I’m probably going to look you up in our database. And but a lot of people don’t have access to that. And they might do an easy Facebook search, but they’re not going to go beyond that. I think a lot of these dating apps are in a tough situation, because they did not go into this business to be investigators. But I think on the other hand, there’s an argument to be made that just as we’re demanding more accountability from Facebook and from Twitter, we, these, these businesses realize that they are potentially putting people in the path of the sex offender, and they’re certainly not advertising that, but at some point, we do expect them to take some responsibility for it. So I think if I’m coming at this from a we are all responsible for our own actions, position. I agree with you. But I mean, at some point Do they really not have any accountability or responsibility in some ways by knowing that you You have this problem and you’re not doing anything about it. They’re there. They’re acknowledging their role and trying to step away from it. Yeah, I need to do more.

 

Damona  9:07  

They certainly could do more. And I think they have in recent years done a lot to shore up. Just general dating data. Potential faults in their in their data sharing like it used to be when you would go search for ok key, but you could you could search the profiles were actually indexed by Google. And you could find them you could find anybody and search by their photo and it would come up as associated with Ok, Cupid. So they have since they’ve since shored that up, and it gave a lot of my clients more, more of a sense of security, that their information wasn’t all out there. But I think we also have we have to accept responsibility. Like you said, you brought up Facebook and Instagram. We have to accept responsibility that when we put our image out there and when we put our information out there that it could be used in many different ways. But you’re absolutely right that a lot of people don’t have these resources. And that’s why I’m glad that people are listening to this podcast right now. Because I’ve said for a long time you have to do you have to do your research, like do a google check, do a phone call before the day and see if anything doesn’t match up with what what they’ve said. And if if they’re, if they’re a registered sex offender, or if they have a criminal record, you might be able to find some of that information just from a basic Google search. So that at the very least you should be doing if you have any concerns about this, or go to match and pay for it. Like maybe what they should be doing is adding an like an app an add on service that you can pay to have background checks. I know, Bumble lets you verify your account. But maybe there’s an added level of security they can give to people that aren’t willing to pay for the service because not free.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  10:56  

Right. Right. That’s a very good point. I mean, we shouldn’t expect that this is all going to be handed to us for free. I think this also speaks a bit to a generational divide. Millennials, they know their way around all this stuff. They’re much more savvy. But I think if somebody like my mom who is widowed, if she were to go on a dating app, she would fall for every anything because she doesn’t use a computer she doesn’t know. You know, it would be it would be a hard asset to just get her on a dating app. But some people are just not that sophisticated there. And I shouldn’t say sophisticated because sometimes people are just not interested in living their life connected to the internet and a computer. And should those people be more susceptible to, you know, a bad actor? I would say no, but I do think that we have, we can’t expect that this is all going to be handed to us for free. I do think that a pay option. That’s something that seems fairly reasonable.

 

Damona  11:49  

Well, we’ve given them all the all the information they need. Hopefully they’ll pick it up and run with anyone credit for it. But one thing that’s a little bit harder to tell when you’re on a dating app is whether someone is in a relationship or not. I’ve read in some of the LA affairs stories people find out later on that the person they thought they were madly in love with was already madly in love with someone else and in a relationship with them. And Kat Von D and Ana Faris, normal normalize to the the phenomenon of cheating on the unqualified podcast and you look at these two ladies and you think who’s gonna cheat on Kat Von D. First of all, she’s gorgeous. Second of all, I feel like she like she she would cut you your life. But she says she’s dated nothing but jerks and has never been on a real date. She claims a past boyfriend cheated on her Renee 18 times while they were together she she looked in she saw in his email and messages that there were 18 different women that he had she verified He had had sex with while they were together. What is going on? You’ve been editing this column for a long time. Is there an increase that you see in submissions? of Cheaters or do you think it’s just like now we’re talking about it more before it was just so taboo that people wouldn’t discuss if it happened to them?

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  13:21  

I don’t I can’t say that I see an increase in it I can tell you that a lot of the submissions we get have to do with cheating. But before I get to some examples, on a Ferris we had I had the pleasure of meeting her once in studio she came into the LA Times. so incredibly nice, incredibly, you can always tell them Sure, you can bet your shares celebrities, you can always tell how they treat everyone else. She was so pleasant and when I heard that story, I thought who would cheat on Anna you be getting me It’s horrible. What What luck to the rest of us have? But we we you know, it’s not.

 

Damona  13:55  

It’s not about that it’s not about even reading this week, Justin Timberlake I was holding hands I was like Justin and like you like you’re not going to do better than Jessica he’ll it’s not going to happen john What is going on?

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  14:11  

But it’s it’s really shocking how often that happens and I am sure there’s you could do a whole show on the psychology of cheating but people I think go into relationships expecting that the person is if they are in a monogamous relationship they’re expecting that the person is going to be honest with them. And my god the LA affair submissions just show time and time again that that is not the case. And and it sometimes just seems so, so surprising that the person didn’t catch on one of our more popular columns had to do with a woman who was I can’t exactly remember all the details of this, but she found out that her boyfriend had her phone number in his phone, but under a guy’s name and she did not Real that’s how she found out red flag right? Somehow his phone rang or she would she called the phone Oh, they were looking for his phone or something. And the phone rang and she’s like, why do you have me in here as Tony? Take it all fell apart. It was funny about that, as so many people did not understand who were read the column that that is a common practice that people do. They’ll hide the person’s name and their phone under another name so that if the phone rings and their partner says, Oh, it’s Tony from work or Joe from work, it’s not another woman calling.

 

Damona  15:29  

So in that situation, she was the other woman.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  15:32  

Yes. She found that’s how she found out that she was the other woman. I know.

 

Damona  15:36  

That is just the worst. What are some other other other red flags that you’ve seen? Or, or patterns that you’ve seen that cheaters will do? Because I know people are listening like, I gotta take some notes here from Renee because I need to know because I think a lot of people have suspicions like, what if my partner is cheating on me or has cheated on me? But are there any things that You should really be on the lookout for like, like, is only being able to see you on the weekends like, Is that an automatic red flag? Are there any other things you’ve seen? Well,

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  16:10  

I think it particularly in LA some of those rules that might apply elsewhere are difficult in LA because when I was dating my husband, I, we lived about 40 miles apart. We only saw each other on weekends. So he could have had an entire other family and told her that he was going on business trips for the weekend, and I wouldn’t have known it. So those rules do not always apply. I would say, to step back a little bit further before you try to figure out if somebody is cheating. Have you had the conversation? Are we in this together? And it’s just us too? Are we monogamous? Are we? You know, is it just as to we published a story not too long ago by a woman and I have to tell you, I had a hard time editing the column a little bit because I was struggling to understand her point of view, she met a guy, they hit it off, they go on their first date, and then after their First Date she does her due diligence and starts googling him and finds out I believe through Facebook, that he’s in these photos with another woman and kids and she’s trying to figure out what this is. And she calls him in a fury. And he says, we’ll wait a second. I’m Yes, I’m married. However, I am in the process of getting divorced. I have a great relationship with my wife. She knows I’m dating, and we’re separated and we’re in the process of getting a divorce. I don’t know is that is that a problem? This woman went through the roof over that, but I don’t know.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  17:32  

I don’t know about disclosing all that on your first date. I feel like I kind of felt for him.

 

Damona  17:38  

I feel like he should say before the date, just so you know I am. I mean, you have to say that you’re separated, not divorced. And that’s a really common. That’s a really common cheater move. Right right to say, oh, we’re in the process. I mean, how many times we heard that I’m leaving my way. But tomorrow,

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  17:59  

but It’s true. It’s true. I mean, I guess I

 

Damona  18:03  

was like, so, so jaded.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  18:05  

Should you have to reveal everything on the first day? I don’t know. I personally would have appreciated that being revealed on the first day. But I think sometimes people find out that their quote unquote being cheated on, and maybe they haven’t had the conversation about are we monogamous?

 

Damona  18:20  

No one else such a good point. I also read a recent la affairs column where a woman was talking about her dating patterns. And she said that in all of the, the, the relationships or the date she she had the intuition, she had the gut early on, that they were not a good guy or they weren’t, weren’t right for her. And so many times, we just squash that and we put our intuition aside. And those of you who’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, know that I’m really big into using that intuition and trusting your gut. Because we could we can do all the steps but ultimately, we can do background checks, but I think the best background check is it starts with how do you feel when you’re with them? And what are the signals that you’re getting? Yeah,

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  19:07  

you’re totally right. I i in particular loved that column because I worked with her on that for quite a bit. It had a very different tone to it. In the very beginning, she was very down on herself that this was never going to work out. And, you know, this is all horrible. And then as we work through it, ice center will it actually seems like you’re, we need to play up that idea that you have listened to your intuition and it ended up being a much more I think inspirational column because, you know, think about how many dates you’ve gone on in your life. You’ve had far more dates that did not end up in you being married then the date that got you married, right, so are you a dating failure? If you look at the statistics, you are right, you are more bad dates that didn’t go anywhere today. True. And so I think we have to not take the bad date as like a sign of that. Some thing is horrible. It just didn’t work out. It didn’t work out if you went shopping, and you didn’t find the black pair pants that you were looking for you and be like, I’m a failure to shop another day, right? Like you would just be like, I’m ready to get back in the hunt and look for those pants. I think we need to approach dating a little more like that. It’s not the end all be all, you know, referendum on who you are as a person. You’re just trying to find your match, trying to find your person. And that takes time. And it’s not a big deal. It’s like calm down. It’s all going to be okay. didn’t work out the Saturday, maybe next Saturday is your day. So uplifting

 

Damona  20:34  

and I totally agree with you. Speaking of time, it’s time for us to take a little break. And first I wanted to just acknowledge our listeners that have told their friends about the podcast and that have told other podcast listeners about the podcast through reviews. Special thanks to Nicole who just left us this review. She said I enjoy listening to this podcast on my way to work every Monday. Not to sound arrogant or anything But she’s the host is funny and engaging. And she always has a wide variety of love and dating themes to themes to address you won’t be disappointed. Thank you so much, Nicole for listening. And thanks to all of you who are dedicated to listening to this podcast. Please take a moment to review the show on the podcast platform that is bringing it to your ears right now. So the more people can get the help and love that they need and we can keep making Dates & Mates a free resource for you for seven more seasons. We will have more with Renee Lynch of the la times in just a moment.

 

We are back with Renee Lynch of the LA Times. She is the editor of the LA affairs column which I’ve been a fan of for a long time. Renee, people love a love story. They love a good love story. And we’re sometimes really addicted to happy endings. I’m curious because you read a lot of love stories What’s your favorite kind of love story?

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  22:12  

I you know, I love a good love story where there’s a lot of drama and obstacles before you get to the to the wonderful payoff. I just think that I love the story where it slowly revealed itself kind of like When Harry Met Sally story the way we knew it slowly revealed itself that Wait a second, the person I’ve wanted all along, or the perfect person for me is right here.

 

Damona  22:39  

So much more like people are like, how did you know your husband was the one and I’m like, I don’t know cuz I just wanted to keep seeing him and not seeing anybody else. It wasn’t like, all of a sudden whiz bang like the music change and I swept off my

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  22:55  

feet and we danced off into the sunset.

 

Damona  22:58  

I don’t know. Did you hear you’re married. Did you know when you first met your husband? He was the one No,

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  23:05  

my husband, I’m a very silly person. And my husband for is also very silly person, which that’s why I love him. I always say he’s the goof to my ball. Our first few dates, he was so serious, and just so kind of like this kind of commanding and control very serious personality. And I was like, No, like, No, no, no, no, no. And we actually went on a date we went golfing and I told a friend I go he doesn’t know this but he’s got one shot like this date. This is about to be over

 

Damona  23:38  

way this was your this is your first

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  23:41  

No, this is like your this is the person I’m married to now

 

Damona  23:43  

but how many dates and more dates Okay, so this is like the date it and

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  23:47  

I was like, This guy is just too serious. And it because I felt like I couldn’t be my ridiculous silly self because I felt like he was like disapproving and like why are you being loud or silly or whatever. And so we go coughing and we are in the parking lot at the end of the night and we’re about it we were two different cars are about to go our second way and somebody starts playing Britney Spears hit me Baby One More Time started doing the dancer, Brittany’s my god parking lot and I was like, will you marry me?

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  24:20  

That is a bold move or a guy

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  24:22  

I couldn’t like I wish I had a camera on my face because the shock of like, is this guy really doing this right now? And he had the whole like he was doing the whole thing. And I thought okay, well you just one date number five.

 

Damona  24:35  

But it’s I like hearing that story because it shows how people really reveal themselves over time and I talk on the show a lot about slow love and how people are not usually themselves right away and true. Like people get so caught up in chemistry and what am I feeling on the first date, but it’s really the second, the third, the fourth and the fifth date. Yeah, that really tells you who that person is? I’m curious what made you stick with it beyond the first or second day because there are a lot of people that after a soso or a bad first date might just be like,

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  25:13  

you know, there was enough there. He’s very handsome. There was no is there? Yes, that always helps. And we we kept finding weird things in common. Like we were reading the same book at the time. And you know, just like an odd little thing. And it wasn’t a new book. It was an old it was Lance Armstrong’s book. It’s not about the bike. Before Lance. Yeah, youngsters, Grace. And he knew, you know, so he was able to talk about that. And then we would just find these like weird little things in common. And I just found this he is he’s Puerto Rican, he’s very close to his family. And that’s something that I really admired. And there were just little things that I thought this is a really a stand up guy. I was just really worried that I that I wasn’t I was like, maybe not measuring up, it was really this kind of like weird thing where I thought, I’m kind of like, you know, I’ll say silly stuff, I’ll just I’m kind of a very relaxed person. And he just seemed like a little too uptight. And I thought, Oh, this is not gonna work out

 

Damona  26:13  

the best behavior with you. Right?

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  26:14  

Well, that said he was really nervous. And so it took us a while to I think, I think a slow burn is such a great way to describe it, that it took a while for it to unfold and reveal itself. And that was the relationship that really made me understand that I would say if you have two things that you need in a relationship, it’s compatibility. And also attraction. I mean, you need to have some attraction to the person that you’re with. But if you are not compatible, I think that the media image that we often get is that you need to have a fiery tempestuous Lake relationship. And I’m like, Girl run on and run late. I do not want that. Like, maybe that’s great for a hot summer romance, but that is not what you want when the roof is leaking. Getting in the kid is crying and the bills need to be paid. You want slow, steady compatible somebody who who your spending habits are similar. Somebody that you know that you can rely on, you don’t mean that that you know exactly.

 

Damona  27:16  

What’s interesting about the LA affaires column and the work that you do with it, you get submissions, you get like hundreds of submissions every month. And I’m guessing

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  27:28  

No, it’s true. I tell people, I could run the column if I stopped accepting submissions today, I could run it like through 2015. I mean, I have it literally in my quote unquote short stack. I have probably 150 columns in the short stack.

 

Damona  27:41  

Wow. So this is anyone in LA that has a love story that wants to tell something about about their journey. And I’m curious when you have all of these stories, I’m sure everyone feels like their story is the most important one to be told. But what is it that makes you pick one out over the other and then talking about A little bit about your process of how you take this core idea. Like we all tell the story from our point of view, like this happened, and he did this to me, but like, like the example you were telling about before the break, how you shape it to almost give them new perspective on the story that they’ve lived.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  28:16  

I feel like doing this job is kind of being a little bit of a therapist for people, always, because I’ll see something in their story. And they don’t see it because they’ve lived it, right. It’s, it’s staring them in the face, and I’ll start to ask them about it. And then it’ll slowly fall away that this the story isn’t over here. It’s actually on the other side of the room. It’s over here. And part of that is the editing process. When columns come in, first and foremost, I’m looking for a really great story. I tell people do not worry about filing a perfectly polished, edited manuscript. That’s not what I want or need, because I’m the editor. I can guarantee you that whatever you file, no matter what shape it’s in, I’m going to find some changes because the style changes for the paper. Like for example, we don’t use profanity. So just like maybe that makes us old school but you know, changes will be major columns. So first and foremost, I’m just looking for a good story. Tell me a good story. Pretend you are you and I just met, we’re sitting next to each other having coffee and they say so you know, tell me about your last date or your partner, whatever. Start typing. That’s what I want. Just tell me a good story. And then from there, I’m looking for something original. I’m, you know, if you if you read the column, I’m just looking for something perhaps offbeat. I love a story that ends up happening an inspirational aspect to it like that woman who I think is like so many of us, we think, Oh, I went on another bad date. There’s something wrong with me. And we were able to finally get to the point where she already understood but she wasn’t fully embracing it. That when you walk away from a bad day, you’re walking towards yourself. You’re that is a victory. You put that in the win column sister You do not walk away from that feeling bad. about that. And so I loved that I’m working on a column with a man right now, it’s probably going to take a while it’ll run early next year, and he and his partner broke up because of his drinking. And when they get back together, you know, it’s it’s very difficult challenge for them to recover their relationship. But he, he really comes to the idea that so many people do who struggle with substance abuse that he had to say no to that in order to say yes to the relationship. And it’s just a really beautiful inspirational story. And I’m fully convinced that somebody will read that column. And he was very upset with his partner because he felt like his partner was rejecting Him and not accepting him. But the partner was saying, I cannot have this alcoholism in my life. And so I’ve seen enough of right

 

Damona  30:47  

intervention to know that line.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  30:50  

And so I’m sure that people will read that column and somebody somewhere will read that column and say, You know what, I’m going to stop drinking today. And so that to me, I want to Love that I get to do something like that it’s an honor and a privilege.

 

Damona  31:04  

You just gave me chills honestly to know that you’re impacting people that are reading this on on such a deep level and even just the people that you’re writing that you’re editing the column with, to know that they can get new perspective because our stories really sometimes trap us in a pattern. Like all the time when I’m working with clients, I, I help figure out what is that story that’s playing in your head about why you’re still single, maybe it’s you’re telling yourself every day there are no good men in LA or I can’t trust my gut or they’re all cheaters whatever that story is. Sometimes you have to take a step back from it and maybe even in writing it out. Like not everyone listening to this podcast is going to have their their story published in LA affairs, but maybe they can get started by just writing down their story on paper, getting the story out of them. And then almost distancing it Yes, it’s yourself from it to just read it and say Okay, where How have I grown from this? What can I learn from this? How can I become a better person myself through this experience, and then maybe that will lead me to?

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  32:12  

Well, I think you have just hit right on it that I sometimes think that we think like life is just supposed to be perfect and unfold. But we all know we come with so much baggage, and then you’re meeting somebody else who has baggage. And we’re both trying to see if our baggage will fit within it, each other’s baggage. And if you’re coming from the perspective of like, I can’t find, you know, there are no good women in LA or I can’t find a date or there’s something wrong with me. In some ways, I would encourage people to do exactly what you said, which is, instead of using this as a negative use it as an opportunity for personal growth. We are in the land of of personal growth, right? There’s no place in the world that encouraged us to look within like LA, we should take advantage of that. And maybe it’s seeing somebody maybe it’s talking to somebody maybe it’s trying to journal or Right about it there are plenty of free online resources. But why not delve into? Why am I finding it hard to meet a woman in LA? Do I really believe that all women are bad look, let’s push back on that belief and see what happens when I start digging into it is what happened in my background that has led me to believe that and then what am I going to move past that? I mean, be the hero of your own story right? Every good hero needs an obstacle. You gotta like go around it or through it or under it or whatever just in

 

Damona  33:28  

the third act

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  33:31  

it’s not the end but but I think we can often give up right we can often give up just before the breakthrough so I think we the way you put it is just perfect. We just need to push through that and sometimes for some people writing it down and submitting it to a column like Ella fares or or someplace else or maybe even writing it down and burning it in the backyard and being like I’m now done with that. I’m ready to move on.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  33:51  

Oh, yeah,

 

Damona  33:52  

right. I did that. Actually. I had a I had a group of girlfriends over in in the I guess it was in the summer, spring or summer, and we got a fire pit and we all we burned our stories. And this woman had this relationship that she was still holding on to a lot of negativity around it. And she was still processing it, even though she was in a healthy, positive relationship. Now she still had unfinished business. And so she took all of these photos, all of these letters, all of these things that were tying her to the past and she burned them. She burned them in my backyard. And it was just so cathartic.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  34:36  

Okay, now you’re

 

Damona  34:38  

just to see, I mean, y’all like fire safety, like don’t like make sure you are doing this in a way which I didn’t do that but you know, like, have a professional or water or something, I don’t know. But just just seeing her go through that and, and be able to, to release that. Like we carry around all these feelings that we attend. To the stories that we’ve had,

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  35:01  

right, and you know what it’s okay to have a wonderful relationship that for whatever reason, didn’t work out, it’s totally fine. And it’s fine to reflect on that and maybe remember that person and think about him or her fondly. But that it’s think sometimes things just don’t work out. And that’s just the way it is. And it’s okay. It’s not a reflection on who you are. It’s just a reflection on that moment in time. And that can actually be a beautiful thing, right that you had a, you know, a summer boyfriend or summer girlfriend, and it was great, and then it didn’t work out. But that’s a wonderful memory to have not baggage to kind of like drag into like your next 17 relationships. Exactly.

 

Damona  35:39  

You are so wise, Renee. I’m like, I’m getting all of the chills and all the fields here. And all of our listeners have submitted questions to all of our listeners. Some of our listeners have submitted questions that I think our listeners would really want to hear your insights to the questions that they’ve submitted. So we’re going to roll right into our next segment. Alright, Renee, we have questions from our listeners that people have submitted all kinds of ways. We get questions through email, through Instagram, through Facebook, through Twitter. And today I have a question that came to my inbox. That said, Hi damona I recently started internet dating and I’ve met some nice guys, but none that really blow me away. I’ve been asked by one of them to stop seeing the other men to see if this relationship can work. I’m in my 40s and the endless dating cycle is tiring, but I do not want to settle for the man that is giving me the most attention and who’s the most demanding? Any advice? Ooh, that is a hard one. That is a hard one is a burden hand.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  36:45  

Yeah, she has a burden. And I guess I I would wonder, first of all, I’d love to know a little more about her dating history. How she got to this point, what is your story? What is your story? But I mean, what about Giving it a certain amount of time so that you’re not putting too much into it but maybe four or five more dates or say, I mean, I can kind of understand somebody saying like, can we make this monogamous or at least make it about us? For now, I think I would be so anxious if I knew my boyfriend were leaving me and dating somebody. Like, I just think that would just ratchet up my anxiety.

 

Damona  37:24  

But in the beginning, you were you were online. Right? Right. And you knew in the beginning the chances chances were he was dating other people.

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  37:32  

But once we started dating a few more dates, and once he did his little bit,

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  37:39  

you know, we never actually had the conversation of are we is this are we exclusive, but we just kind of knew we were exclusive. But Had I known that he were out dating other women. I think that would have been, I think I would have at some point said can we make this just about us? I think that would have been a little hurtful, so I can understand somebody’s asking for that. I mean, if he says I need you to never date another man again for the next 10 years, I think you say you got to get out of here. But saying if let’s put our emphasis on this and see if we can work six, eight weeks. I don’t know that doesn’t seem that doesn’t seem unreasonable.

 

Damona  38:15  

You’re giving me food for thought running because my initial reaction was if she’s not excited about him, and he’s already at the point where he’s saying, Let’s be exclusive, that maybe they’ve given it enough time to see if it’s working or not. And for her, it’s just not working. And

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  38:32  

well, that’s why I wondered about her background because I wonder if she I wondered if she is a little bit like me who was like, Wait, you’re not bringing fireworks and like 3000 roses on our first date? She this isn’t very exciting. Yeah. I

 

Damona  38:48  

Well, there’s a clue in here. She says the endless dating cycle is tiring. And I know a lot of our listeners struggle with that. Especially she says she’s in her 40s we have a lot of listeners in their 30s and Does it feel like I’ve been doing this, I’ve been like, on this in this rat race of dating, and it’s like wash, rinse repeat of I’m going on this date, I’m not really connecting with a guy I’m this far in, I don’t really want to break up with him because I don’t want to start over. Right? Like that fear of starting over can keep people in the wrong relationships. But by the same token, I totally hear what you’re saying, like you have to be looking at the bigger picture of what, what you need out of the relationship. And maybe if it’s not, you’re not checking all the boxes. But if you’re checking enough of the boxes, you know, maybe it is worth just just focusing

 

Rene Lynch, LA Times  39:39  

and committing for a little bit and saying like, if you are invested in this relationship, what would that look like? I can guarantee you that if you and I are in a relationship, and we’re totally committed to each other, it’s going to look very different than if I’m dating five other people. And so I’m not giving you my all I’m not giving you all my attention. That person is going to feel that but again, I’m a little curious as to what it what are her expectations about a relationship? I guarantee you that I do not check all of my husband’s boxes, I’m sure. He would be like, I would like somebody who’s maybe a little more organized. There’s there are definitely things that he will be like, I wish I could change about her. But if you’re, you know, checking most of them. He’s the person who, if he is my desert island person, I want him on that desert island. Is he perfect? No, he’s not perfect. But at some point, you just get to that point where you think this person is very, very special to me, and I want them in my life more than I don’t want them in my life.

 

Damona  40:41  

Okay, that’s a good segue into our second question, which is similar but different. This one came to me from Instagram. She says I’m a 20 year old female. She said I just listened to a podcast you were on. I’m not sure which one but thank you for listening. Maybe horrible decisions or maybe kind of dating but thank you for Much. Lately I’ve been really struggling in my relationship. He’s a great guy and we share a lot of the same values. The thing is I was never really attracted to him and never felt the spark. Never felt the spark, Renee. I thought I could get past it because we do share similar values for the future and in life, but I have been nitpicking and criticizing him for a few months.

 

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